Wigton man who spent 30 days in coma makes emotional coronavirus plea

Watch as Natasha Potts goes to meet Hayden at his home in Wigton.

A man who spent a month in a coma after contracting coronavirus is urging people not to let the efforts of NHS staff during the pandemic be forgotten.

Hayden Dunstan, from Wigton, awoke from a coma at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle to the news his wife had died of the same virus.

Three years on from the introduction of the first national lockdown, he says we're in danger of forgetting the work of those on the frontline.

Mr Dunstan is still dealing with the after-effects of the virus.

"I don't think I'll ever get my health entirely back, I still suffer with a lot of body pains, fatigue, breathlessness," he told ITV Border.

"My lungs are quite scarred. I don't expect to ever be 100% but 80, 85% will do."

Hayden Dunstan, from Wigton.

On top of his physical recovery, Mr Dunstan is still coming to terms with the death of his wife Cathrynn, who was admitted to the intensive care unit at the same time.

"There's two me's now, and the only way I could move forward was to become a new person, start a new life," he said.

"And I've done that. I'm seeing a very lovely lady, and she's helped me through an awful lot of this.

"She's amazing, but it doesn't lessen the fact that Cathrynn went and I miss her. I will always, always hurt. And I'll always be sad."

Cathrynn was a trained opera singer - and in tribute, Mr Dunstan and his sons have created a collection of her music - with her ashes incorporated into the vinyl.

Hayden Dunstan and his wife Cathrynn.

He also found another way to remain close to his wife.

"Cathrynn will always be a part of me," continued Mr Dunstan.

"Hopefully the better part of me." Mr Dunstan says people have forgotten the contributions of the nurses and doctors who witnessed the worst of what the virus could do.

"People have got short memories, and it's not that long since then," said Mr Dunstan.

"People are starting to complain about the NHS again. They've forgotten what they went through and the hammering all those staff took that are still living probably with the psychological aftermath of what they've faced in the last few years.

"And I was there. I saw the people dying and I asked them, I said, 'Who's looking after your mental health?' And no one, no one's looking after them.

"Just remember, these are real angels that walk among us."

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